Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Village Idiots On The Telly. ("I'm naturally mad. I don't use any chemicals").

And now for something completely different.

Continuing with my great British television theme.  Today I would like to talk about the 'Village Idiot'.  The fantastic Monty Python team made us laugh and think outside of the box.  I loved Monty Python's Flying Circus.  Some of the sketches made me fall about laughing and some of them went straight over my head.

My Python  favourite joke/sketch is:  

A man walks into a shop and says to the shop keeper:

"I'd like to buy a wasp please"


"Sorry sir, we don't sell wasps."


"Yes you do you have got one in the window!"

Absolute genius.  

I have been looking up the role of the village idiot on Google and good old Wikipedia- the free encyclopaedia 

Apparently the village idiot was considered an acceptable social role, a unique individual who was dependent yet contributed to the social fabric of his community.  You don't hear of any lady village idiots do you?  Any road.  The role of the'village savant or 'village genius'  is often tied to the concept of pre-industrial anti-intellectualism   The court jester is another character in English folklore who was both a subject of picture and derision.

In the following sketch.  We see the 'village idiot' from a completely different perspective   Thanks to the person who uploaded the Monty Python sketch to You Tube.  I don't think we will ever see the likes of the Pythons again on television, do you?


  1. Our village doesn't have a village idiot - we all take turns.

  2. Good one Cumbrian. Did you like Monty Pythons Flying Circus?

  3. Yes, some of it; a few of the sketches have gone into the annals of the all-time greats.
    Must admit though, like you say, some of it went a bit over my head.

    Your wasp joke reminds me of a scene many years ago in a butchers shop, the butcher trying to hit a wasp with one of his big cutting knives, us watching from the bus stop. Dunno if he ever got it the bus came.

    Managed to keep fine again today, even thought I heard the sound of a strimmer or something this afternoon. Clouds darkening in now, looking black, rain imminent I guess.
    Raggy cat still asleep in front of fire.
    How's Domino doing, caught his first mouse yet?

  4. I love the British sense of humour that can send itself up. Think television is far too serious these days. People need to laugh and let them selves go every now and then.

    Your butcher shop wasp chase sounds like a silent comedy, like Eric Sykes: The Plank. It sounds hilarious Cumbrian.

    Talking of shops. One of my neighbours in England once went for a day trio to Wales. They stopped in a village and walked into a shop. My neighbour said to the shopkeeper:

    "What cakes have you got please?"

    The shopkeeper lady replied to her:

    "What ever we have got in the window."

    Can't believe how dark it is in the morning (7) when I get up. There is a lot to be said for street lamps and pavements and buses and..?

    Domino is a fat cat. He should be a bank manager. Don't think he's even seen a mouse!

    Don't think we will let him go outside at night until next Spring. Scared of him getting knocked over with their being no road lights.


  5. Are you going to do a piece on The Gumbys, Dave? Didn't we know some Gumbys in Paper Town?

  6. Yes, mornings getting dark, clocks must go back this weekend?

    Good idea to keep Domino in, sure he'll be ready to carry out his duties when the days get a bit longer in spring, plenty mice about then as well.

    Managed to keep dry here, but night comes fast.
    Raggy cat still luxuriating in front of fire, getting fat again.

  7. Did you see the Gumbies at the end of the village idiot sketch Pat?

  8. Dark until 8 this morning. There have been twenty one pedestrians killed on Irish roads this year - frightening. I wonder if the lack of pavements, road lights and crazy speed limits in rural areas have anything to do with it?

    There is no evidence of mouse activity so Domino must be doing his job.

    I was thinking this morning, how much electricity and fuel do we all use? Even when we are a sleep the freezer is working and the electric pump is still working on the Stanley range. Then we get up and put the light on.

    I go passed some houses at night, and it's like Blackpool Illuminations. How many televisions and computers are being used in different rooms just to get (keep) some peace? I wonder if there is some gadget you can get to calculate your electricity use?

  9. Yes, I've got one, a little monitor thingy that tells me how mwny pence per hour I'm using. Got it free from E-on I think it was, doesn't need wired in, just put batteries in and set for the pence per unit cost. I'm not 100% sure I've got it correct, but t's an education to see how much power the different things use. Our background use is about 2 pence per hour, fridge, freezers, power-down lights on appliances I suppose. Computers don't seem to use much, just as well the amount of time we use them.

  10. I read a great book called: Northside of the Mizen a few years a go. It's a book of West Cork tales and customs. One farmer character used to get up when it was light and go to bed when it was dark. So he had incredibly long days in Summer and incredibly long nights in Winter, no doubt he needed the rest after the Summer days?

    Ireland recently connected to the UK with a new electricity cable under the sea. So I suppose we (Ireland) gets a lot of electricity made in UK (even French) nuclear power stations. So I suppose Ireland is no longer 'nuclear free'?

    We do use computers a lot but I wouldn't like to be without them. I communicate more with you and my friend Pat in Poland, than I do with neighbours down the road. Sad really. I am also very proud to say it was an Englishman who invented the Internet. Just can't remember his name.

    Back to electricity: I can't imagine what it must have been like before electricity. We sometimes have gales (we often have them) and power cuts. It's only then I appreciate what its like not to have electricity for the television, the pump for the well, lights, computer, Internet, fridge, pump for the stove..? We are totally dependent on it aren't we?


    1. We have an old version of these Owl things - http://www.theowl.com/shop/index.php?target=products&product_id=49 which was very interesting, and part of the reason we ended up going off grid.
      It's amazing how all the little things like chargers add up.
      Just bought our first lot of LED lightbulbs today which will at least bring the lighting down to less than 50 watts with everything switched on.
      It's quite hard to find powerless versions of things that are now electrical, especially kitchen stuff.
      I've an engineering friend who has made something called a Stirling Engine (another British invention) that being an external combustion engine, can take waste heat from something like a range, and make electricity. I'm not sure of the intricacies, but it is a very clever thing. Worth a google, I daresay.

  11. Thanks Steve for the Owl info. We purchased some LED light bulbs and I wasn't impressed. It's incredible that you can bring your lighting down to 50 watts. We seem to have 3 rooms on the go at night with 2 computers and two television sets plus lighting and the pump on the range.

    Wonder if there is any research being carried out for alternative transport? My pet rant (concern) is the lack of public transport in the countryside. Think cars cause so much pollution, road kill and congestion. Yet most people seem to see them to be a necessary evil.


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